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J Adv Nurs. 2001 Apr;34(1):43-50.

Facilitating and obstructing factors for development of learning in clinical practice: a student perspective.

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Department of Caring Sciences and Sociology, University of Gävle, Sweden.



The aim of this study was to provide information on what the student nurses found facilitating and obstructing for their learning during clinical practice.


Earlier studies of experiences of learning in clinical practice have shown that factors as the possibilities of variations of experiences, the culture of the workplace, and communication between the educational institution and health care facilities are of importance. Less is known about the opportunities which students are given in order to practise the skills that they will be expected to perform as new graduate nurses.


The experiences of 47 degree student nurses from two colleges in Sweden were gathered in weekly diaries during their final period of clinical practice. A content analysis technique was used to analyse their diaries.


The students emphasized responsibility and independence, opportunities to practise different tasks, and receiving feedback as facilitating factors. Other perceived promoting factors included perceptions of control of the situation and understanding of the 'total picture'. Examples of obstructing factors were the nurses as supervisors not relying on the students, supervision that lacked continuity and lack of opportunities to practise. Perception of their own insufficiency and low self-reliance were drawbacks for some students.


Recommended proposals are presented to lecturers and supervising staff concerning organizational and educational changes, and changes of attitudes for elucidating the students' experiences of different facilitating and obstructing factors. Changes may contribute to making easier the students' transition into the nursing profession.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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